How to Reset Router? – Difference b/w Reset, Reboot, Soft Reset & Restart

If you have a local area network set up in your home, chances are higher that you will have to restart, reboot, a soft reset or reset router at least once to fix issues with your internet connectivity or network administrative issues. Usually, you should reset router only if that is the last resort. You may face this situation when you forget your router’s administrative password and network’s wireless security key. But how to reset router? Let’s see different options with steps.

How to reset router? – Hard Reset

You may have to reset router when you forget its administrative password or network wireless security key. The reset option should be the last option since the router software will set to factory default settings.


In a way, router reset will wipe off all the customisation including any usernames, passwords, custom ports, wireless key, custom DNS servers, etc.

An important point to note here is that a hard reset will not affect your firmware. So, if you have upgraded your router’s firmware recently, it will stay the same even after a hard reset.

It might happen that on a hard reset, you start facing some connectivity issues. To avoid that, always disconnect the router from your broadband modem before doing a hard reset.

Steps to perform a hard reset

The procedure to perform a hard reset is relatively simple and similar across different routers. Before you perform a hard reset, make sure that your router is powered on.

  1. Locate the reset button on the router. It can be found either on the back-side or bottom of your router. It is a tiny button hidden in a narrow opening. You will find the word Reset or RST near this hole.
  2. Use something thin and pointy for pressing the reset button. An unfolded paper clip or a pin would do the trick. Make sure you hold it pressed for a good 30 seconds.
  3. After releasing the button, it can take around 30 seconds for the router to reset completely.
  4. After the router has reset, do a quick reboot, and the router will have factory settings in place.

While this method would reset most of the routers in the market, there are some who follow the 30-30-30 hard reset rule. In this method, hold the reset button for 90 seconds in place of 30 seconds.

Although most of the routers are covered in the above two methods, still, there could be slight variations across different makes of the routers.

Soft Reset

In case you are facing connectivity problem between your router and broadband modem, a soft reset can do the trick to restore functionality. A simple reconnection between the router and modem can solve any connectivity issues.

This is an instantaneous reset as it doesn’t require you to manipulate any software or to reboot your device.

Steps to soft reset

Depending on your requirements, you can perform a soft reset in the following ways:

  1. Disconnect the physical cable connecting the router and the modem. You can plug it back after a few seconds to re-establish the connection.
  2. Use the Disconnect/Connect button on the console. This feature is not available for all routers. Using this feature lets you reset your connection with the Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  3. Consoles of some routers come with an option to ‘Restore Factory Defaults’. This feature gives you the functionality of a hard reset without performing a hard reset. All your username, passwords, etc. will revert to Factory Defaults.
  4. Some consoles also come with the option to ‘Reset your Security’. This lets you reset your SSID, passphrase, security method to defaults. Using this method will leave the other information (such as administrative passwords) untouched.

How to restart router? – Power Cycling

Power Cycling is another term for rebooting your device. In this method, you remove and reapply power to your router. This method is used to recover from DNS cache poisoning, glitches that drop the connection and overheating of the router.

Power Cycling only removes temporary files on the router. It doesn’t remove any of the saved information such as passwords or username that are customised through the console.


Steps to power-cycle a router

Power cycling can be done in two ways:

  1. A lot of routers come with an on/off switch. Use this switch to turn off the device, wait for a few seconds and turn it back on.
  2. Physically remove the power cord of the router from the power socket, wait for a few seconds and re-plug it in. If you use a battery powered router, then the batteries of the router need to be removed and reinserted.

While the router is power cycling, it is sufficient to wait for a few seconds before re-applying power. The router will take some time to resume operation after restoring the power.


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